Blog Hop, Got Goals?

Got Goals? Feeling the Heat

Big Goals BloghopLast month, I didn’t post a Got Goals? blog post. And I’ll tell you why: just two hours into the start of the summer holidays, my two year old son had a nasty fall and broke his femur. He’s still in a plaster cast now, and will be for another three weeks. Which means life can’t go back to normal until then. Not completely.

And the summer has been tough. Really tough. All of our plans had to change, and I faced a summer of entertaining a toddler who can hardly do anything (beach is out, playpark is out, most things are out), while saving my five year old from losing out on his summer holidays too. It was hard. There have been tears and meltdowns, and all of them from me. But, I’m not going to go on about that. If you’re interested, you can read all about my adventures with that here.

While We Were WaitingSo, let’s get back to the writing. July was Camp NaNoWriMo which, against all odds, I managed to complete to my set target of 25k. I finished writing While We Were Waiting, and moved onto starting my following book, The Notary of Gotliss Street. While We Were Waiting was subsequently edited (slowly), and sent out to beta readers, and will be released on September 18th. A month later than I’d originally planned, but there you go. I can’t control everything, and I need to learn that.

Other than that, the summer has been a bit of a bust, with me missing goals all over the place. But I can forgive myself for that, and I learnt a lot from it, about my limits, my time management, and what happens if I push myself too hard. Next summer will be entirely different, because I’ve learnt my lessons this year.

So, what’s in store for September? Obviously, the release of While We Were Waiting, which means final edits, dreaded formatting, and the joy of ordering a paperback proof (which, with the merging of KDP and CreateSpace may not go as smoothly as I’d like. We’ll see.) I’ve also been reading ‘Mastering Amazon Ads’ by Brian D Meeks (highly recommended by the way), and I’m hoping to start on that new adventure next month too.

But, it looks like I’ve rambled on enough here, so I’ll sign off now. September’s going to be busy. In fact, the rest of the year looks set to be pretty manic with two literary conventions where I am a guest author. Wish me luck!

How did you do with your August goals? Join the Got Goals? Bloghop here.

Blog Hop, Got Goals?

Got Goals? I’ve Been Camping

Big Goals BloghopAll of April has been focussed on completing Camp NaNoWriMo, and I’m totally on track to hit my 25k wordcount target. I set my goal there because the first two weeks of the month were taken up with the Easter holidays, and with two young boys to entertain, I wasn’t going to fool myself into thinking I could manage 50k.

But it’s been a good target for me, I haven’t been stressing, or having to push really hard to keep on track, and I haven’t had to let the rest of my life fester in the shadow of my complete abandonment as always happens for NaNoWriMo in November!

I’ve taken a break from my Memory Trader series, while The Sister has been out with beta readers, and so Camp NaNo has focussed on a new book, tentatively titled While We Were Waiting, but that may well change. It was meant to be a post-apocalyptic book, but it’s turned into something of a magical realism piece, so I’m going to let it take me there. At the end of the day, I can clear all of that up in editing.

Have you been doing Camp NaNoWriMo this month? Or have you been working towards other goals? Join the Got Goals? Bloghop here.

Blog Hop, Insecure Writer's Support Group

Insecure Writer’s Support Group: What’s a Beta Reader Worth?

Insecure Writer's Support GroupToday is April’s instalment of Insecure Writer’s Support Group, which sees hundreds of writers and bloggers worldwide discuss their own insecurities, support others with theirs, and offer advice for overcoming them. If you want to check out the other IWSG member blogs, or sign up yourself, you can do so here.

The last couple of months have all been about edits, and preparing The Matching to be sent out to beta readers. It went out at the beginning of March, and I’ve been doing some big edits based on some of that feedback. Big changes. Changes that I knew needed to be made, but just wanted to have confirmed by outside eyes.

But that’s what’s so wonderful about beta readers, and a good one really is worth their weight in gold. Or platinum. Or plutonium.

Beta readers can offer you something you can never give yourself: a distanced opinion. An outside eye. A level of detachment you can’t achieve. But there’s something even more important than that, something that only a good beta reader can offer: honesty. That, that’s harder to find.

The most obvious beta readers available to you are friends and family. And while some of them can be good beta readers (I use family members), many will try to spare your feelings, try not to upset you or cause a falling out. This is no use to you, your writing, or your future readers. You need people that understand how important that honesty is, and people who aren’t afraid to give it to you.

So what is a beta reader worth? A good one? Everything. They’re worth your book, your readers’ enjoyment, your reviews, your sales, your confidence in your work, your future career. Everything.

So once you find a good beta reader, never let them go. (Please note: I mean this metaphorically. I do not advocate the kidnapping, imprisonment, or enforced servitude of beta readers. Even a good one.)

Blog Hop, Got Goals?

Five Year Project: It’s All Official Now

Five Year Project: Do You Have Goals?Last month I was deep in edits, preparing The Matching to go out to beta readers. It went out to them early this month, and I’m now working on some very big changes based on some of that feedback.

But it’s all becoming very real now. When you’re head down at your computer, tapping away, all absorbed within your own little world, it’s yours. It’s a personal endeavour, a private space, a secret relationship between you and your characters. But there comes a moment when it’s all suddenly open, revealed to the world. And suddenly, you’re accountable. You can’t keep tweaking and editing and rewriting forever.

And The Matching has become very official. It has a cover. And there’s little that makes a book feel more real than that. I officially revealed the cover this week, so now, well, there’s no going back.

The Matching Coming Soon

There are other ways I make myself accountable, urge myself onwards. I’ve put the book up on Goodreads, along with an expected publication date. Of course, the next step will be the pre-order, and there’s serious consequences if you back out of that one.

So, that’s that. It’s all official now. I really do actually have to do this.

I can’t wait!

If you want to visit the other blogs in this blog hop, or fancy signing up yourself, check out the linky list here:

Blog Hop, Got Goals?

Five Year Project: Out to Betas

Five Year Project: Do You Have Goals?Things are most definitely moving forward. The Bottle Stopper is now available to preorder on Amazon, and is currently being sent out to beta readers.

I have absolutely worked my butt off on this. My husband will tell you; he barely saw me through July. And I’m really proud of it. My editor loved it, and after adding in an extra scene to increase the emotional potency, she said I had “nailed it”.

I’m very excited about this. And this is just the beginning. Book one of The Paper Duchess series with five more books to follow. Along with that, I have plans. Lots of plans. Big plans. It’s terrifying, but I can’t wait to continue on this journey.

Most importantly, I know I’m not walking this path alone. There are people ahead of me, and people behind me, and people right by my side. And we’re all there to help each other. It’s not Wacky Races. No one’s turning the arrows around, or painting tunnels onto walls.

That said, if you wanted to beta read The Bottle Stopper, I still have plenty of room for more beta readers. Just let me know in the comments, and I’ll get in touch with a copy, and my eternal gratitude.

And, how’s August been for you and your goals?

If you want to visit the other blogs in this blog hop, or fancy signing up yourself, check out the linky list here: